xml:space="preserve">
xml:space="preserve">
Advertisement
Advertisement

Seven Points: Ravens 10, Jets 9

Here's what's on my mind after the Ravens opened the 2010 season with a hard-hitting, sometimes hard-to-watch 10-9 win over the Jets:

1. So much for the rumored demise of the Ravens defense. This group was dominant for much of Monday night's game, limiting the Jets to six first downs and 176 yards of total offense as the Ravens got the edge in time of possession by more than 16 minutes. The defense bailed the offense out after a trio of first-half turnovers and held off a late Jets rally to preserve the win. Sure, these Jets aren't exactly offensive juggernauts, but I think we can table that talk about the Ravens defense lagging behind the offense for the time being.

Advertisement

2. Joe Flacco was maddeningly inconsistent against the Jets, but I've got to give him props for his toughness and tenacity. The Jets pounded him early and forced him into a pair of ugly turnovers. Flacco kept getting up, though, and he played better as the game progressed. Flacco made a few difficult throws that he couldn't make a year ago, and he was money on third down, converting 11 of 19 attempts -- especially impressive considering the Ravens' struggles on first and second down. It was a playoff-type atmosphere in New Jersey, and Flacco played well enough to win. What's not to like about that?

3. Anquan Boldin was a beast in his first real game as a Raven, making seven catches for 110 yards. He did a little bit of everything, hauling in a long throw from Flacco for a 38-yard gain, moving the chains with a couple of clutch third-down catches and making defenders miss on short receptions under coverage. Baltimore has been clamoring for a top-flight receiver for a while now, so you tell me: was he worth the wait?

Advertisement
Advertisement

4. The Jets could only muster 60 total passing yards, and I'm not sure how much of that should be attributed to the play of the Ravens' much-maligned secondary. Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez was brutal, completing 10 of 21 passes for 74 yards. He had trouble finding his wide receivers down the field, often checking down to his backs and tight ends. Still, kudos to the secondary for getting it done, especially with only three healthy cornerbacks in uniform.

5. A year ago, the Ravens were the most penalized team in the NFL, and it cost them a game or two in the standings. In the season opener, though, it was the Jets who were giving away free yards by the bunches and all that dirty laundry helped the Ravens leave New Jersey with a 'W.' The Jets committed 14 penalties for 125 yards, with cornerback Antonio Cromartie doing his best Frank Walker impression out there. As for John Harbaugh's bunch, they kept it pretty clean (five penalties, 38 yards), which was nice to see.

6. There was very little mystery involved when the Ravens lined up with an unbalanced offensive line, something the Ravens did several times. The Jets knew the Ravens would run the ball to the strong side behind offensive tackle Michael Oher and they shut it down every time. Give the Jets credit because the Ravens had success with the unbalanced line in the past, despite its predictability, but the Ravens sure missed offensive tackle Jared Gaither on Monday night -- and this isn't the only reason why.

7:  It took Terrell Suggs a while to get to Sanchez -- he finally picked up a half sack in the fourth frame -- but the slimmed-down linebacker put forth a strong performance against the Jets. He was relentless and disruptive while leading the team with six tackles. Think cutting out the cookies in the offseason had a little something to do with Suggs' revved-up motor?

An extra point: Forget Saturn, Ray Lewis blew up Dustin Keller on that big hit in the game's final minute. Yikes.

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement